Why Cross Stitch?
If you’re the only person in your group of friends who cross stitches, like I am, you probably get asked this any time you whip out your portable project. Recently, I showed my friends a tutorial I put together on how to cross stitch. They wanted to know why I loved it so much, and what about it I found so fulfilling.
Aside from the satisfaction of stitching profanity in the pinkest, prettiest cursive alphabet I could find, this is what I came up with when I thought about why I cross stitch.
1. Me Time
According to WebMD, we all need something that we do just for ourselves and just because we like to do it – like cross stitch! Self care is important, especially for mental health. Taking an hour or two out of your day to spend on progressing in your favorite hobby can help you replenish your vitality so that you are better prepared to handle tomorrow’s challenges.
2. It’s Relaxing
Do we even know how to relax anymore? Between work, family and other obligations, it feels like we’re always rushing around.
But sitting down with a beautiful cross stitch pattern, not having to solve the world’s problems or even answer the question “What’s for dinner?” is such a relief!
A cross stitch a day helps melt the stress away.
3. You Can Do Other Stuff, Too
Even though your hands and eyes are busy, you can still multitask while stitching.
I mentioned in the About page, that I like to binge watch Star Trek while stitching. I’ve seen every episode over and over, and I don’t have to watch the screen too closely. Or I can put on a movie or a podcast (Like the Mission Log podcast 🙂 ) and stitch as I listen along.
Other cross stitchers that I’ve spoken to like to get away from the screens for a while and listen to classical music, or audio books. A few said they listen to their favorite sports team play the latest game. Some stitch in the car to pass the time during a road trip.
One of the best things about cross stitch is, if you’re doing a simple pattern, it doesn’t require your undivided attention. You can enjoy other things while your hands work their magic.
4. You Can Make Almost Anything With Cross Stitch
It’s not just for samplers anymore! Just this past year I made 3 baby bibs, a Christmas tree ornament, 3 bookmarks and a framed picture. You can cross stitch patterns on baby booties (Amazon) and on T-shirts. I’ve even seen clear cups (Amazon) with room inside for a slip of fabric. And I found leather bracelets and phone cases (Amazon) with holes ready and waiting for a creative stitcher.
Then there’s plastic canvas. When I was first learning, my Mom and I made an entire bedroom set of Barbie furniture out of plastic canvas. I’m talking about a bed, two nightstands, a dresser, even an armoire with a dowel in the top for hanging up clothes. It was freaking adorable, all in pink with little purple flowers added as accents.
The possibilities are endless! Just let the creative juices flow.
5. Handmade is Special
It’s so easy to buy a gift card or a toy – there’s little investment of time or thought. But when your friends and family open your handmade gift, they are utterly fascinated and flattered!
This is especially effective on future in-laws who disapprove of your total lack of cooking skills.
When they see that you have the skill and patience to put together a cross stitch project, they are blown away. A friend’s Mom didn’t even believe I stitched it by hand until I showed her work-in-progress pictures on my phone. Before that, she thought it was made by a machine.
Then she bought an ugly pattern at a yard sale and asked me to make it. Can’t win them all, I guess.
6. Sense of Accomplishment
There’s a certain feeling when you make something from nothing with just a few tools and your own two hands. Combined with that rush of accomplishment when you bury that last thread after a year of making your most ambitious project yet.
When you know you are done with that ugly yard sale pattern, and your boyfriend’s Mom will be so happy, there’s no greater joy. ( ← Ok, that last was sarcasm. But you get the idea.)
7. Keeps You Busy
This is particularly handy if you’re on a diet and you eat when you’re bored (guilty!). Or if you’re trying to quit smoking and you don’t know what to do with your hands. Well, NOW you know what to do!
Next, I’m going to figure out how to stitch while walking on a treadmill. Laugh all you want, I’m gonna figure this out!
That’s 7 reasons why you NEED to cross stitch.
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Thanks for explaining how a lot of people like to listen to music, podcasts, sports, or a tv show while they cross stitch. My mom has been thinking about starting to cross stitch to have more fun. She would really like to get the right supplies to get her started, and have more fun.
Great! Cross stitch is easy and inexpensive to start. I hope your mom has years of enjoyment.